Microsoft could debut 12-inch Surface at upcoming event

Microsoft could launch a larger Surface device at its upcoming event on May 20th. While a smaller Surface is all but confirmed, reports from an analyst bring evidence that a 12-inch device aimed at business users could be unveiled.

According to CNET, IHS Technology analyst Rhoda Alexander stated:

There are strong indications that there is a 12-inch product coming down the pipeline. Limited US launch is feasible.

While this approach would make sense considering competing rivals have unleashed similar sized productivity tablets earlier in the year, it will be interesting to see how this new tablet will be branded. Currently, Microsoft has two lines of tablets, the Surface and Surface Pro. The former is aimed at tablet users and includes added values like Office. The Surface Pro runs a full version of Windows and is essentially a computer in a smaller and more portable package.

This 12-inch device could possibly be the rumored Surface Pro 3. If so it would align well with speculation that the new device will utilize Intel Haswell processors. With less than a week to go before the Surface event, it looks like Microsoft is set to unveil some interesting tablets. 

Source: CNET

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My perfect laptop replacement has five ones ...

1 foot (12 inch) screen
1 cm thickness
1 pound weight
1 day battery
1 digital stylus pen with silo

Let's see how many of these ones this new Surface has.

john.smith_2084 said,
it is all pointless, the market is already full with all kind of windows tablet, it is again the same thing, no one cares anymore

I Care.

So isn't this just a 12 inch hybrid laptop? Once you get to that size, it's no longer a tablet. Well for me. Others may feel different on the size.

It's definitely a "laptop first" solution IMO.

That said, I've used in the past 10 and 11.6inch tablets (Android Transformer and Samsung Slate 7 with Windows 8) and recently I moved to a 13.3inch Vaio Flip:

while the Vaio is definitely a laptop more than a tablet (given it's my primary working machine I wanted a laptop solution), I tend to use it in tablet mode quote often, specially during meetings for notes taking and/or showing presentations, as well as using it as a couch tablet when I'm at home or hotels. That's the beauty of hybrids, when you start using one you'll find a lot of situation where their "double" nature comes at fruition.

This obviously doesn't apply to everyone; there are situations where some could still prefer two specialized devices. An example would be a tablet taken mainly for high mobile usage, such as reading/playing/watching videos while on the metro. For such scenario though, I would recommend a 7-8inch device, given the smaller footprint and lightweight.

After trying various solution in the last years, I can't really fathom for myself a reason to buy a dedicated 10inch only tablet; that's obviously me though, your experience may vary.

JHBrown said,
So isn't this just a 12 inch hybrid laptop? Once you get to that size, it's no longer a tablet. Well for me. Others may feel different on the size.

Before iPad, a 'Tablet' was defined as a slate device with a writing Stylus.

The iPad popularity removed the 'writing Stylus' requirement in the modern definition of 'Tablet'.

So if this device has a 'Slate' form factor or can be flipped to be a Slate configuration, has touch and has a Stylus, it will continue to be a Tablet.

(Technically more so than an iPad.)

Draxknar said,
Now it makes since why the docking station has the sides that slide out.
That way it can accommodate any size tablet.

The way the dock works you really wouldn't be able to get more then an additional half an inch or so on each side, and smaller won't dock at all.

If this is priced no more than current Surface Pro 2 and the weight is no more than current Surface Pro 2 then colour me interested.

12" Pro with pen that hides inside tablet with a thinner form factor than the current pro with qhd display and I'm down.

mrdeezus said,
12" Pro with pen that hides inside tablet with a thinner form factor than the current pro with qhd display and I'm down.

I can already see the complaints about the price.... ;-P

Dutchie64 said,

I can already see the complaints about the price.... ;-P

A bigger SP3 sounds awesomely attractive until I realize an SP2 tops-out at ~£1500!!! They need to re-think the pricing strategy for this not to become a very esoteric product.

There's potential it won't be a new product line. The current Surface Pro chassis could fit a 12.1" display if they used the new bezel-less tech Intel has been going on about for the past year or so.

If they were able to keep the device the same size (though hopefully thinner and lighter, yet still with better battery, the simple things lol!) they'd maintain compatibility with existing accessories which would be a boon.

If they were to launch a new Surface product I doubt they'd bring it in at less than 13", which seems to be the new mainstream pro size. (Though a 13" screen would fit in a 12" chassis using the previously mentioned bezel-less tech...).

It's gonna be an interesting event!

Yes, exactly, that's what I've been thinking. When they say 12" that usually means 11.6", which would perfectly fit in the current frame with thinner bezels. This would be an amazing product redesign if you ask me!

I'm just wondering how you treat your MBP. Hope you're not expecting the Surface keyboard cover to be bullet-proof.

I'll admit I'm not the most caring owner but the machine is now 3+ years old and it's now out of warranty so I'm not sure I'd want to pay for Apple support when I can just find a replacement.

I'd pay a premium price for a Surface Ultrabook; however, I think Microsoft should lower the price of the Surface RT... dramatically. The Surface Pro is an ultrabook replacement and can run legacy apps, so it's worth the extra cost. The Surface RT still needs to grab market share.

cetla said,
I would love a Surface laptop. Make it happen at $899 Microsoft.

I would pay a lot to rock a Surface ultrabook and a mini

Probably because we know so much about it and while it has potential, the details we don't know yet (will the price be competitive? How major is the OneNote update? Will we get a beta of Office Touch with it? Have MS secured some great third party apps for the RT device to take advantage of the pen? etc...) are what will make or break the devices attractiveness.

This mystery Intel device, however, is wide open for speculation, which is always much more fun! :D

pack34 said,

I would pay a lot to rock a Surface ultrabook and a mini

+1 billion.
Surface laptop, Surface mini, my i3 HTPC and my 4770 desktop = WINNING. I will stop buying tech (for 6 months)

Oh, and the laptop, more than 12 inches please!
13.3 minimum

StandingInAlley said,

Thanks to RT which Ms refuses to kill

RT will continue to exist as long as they make ARM CPUs. Even if they don't release consumer versions of Windows RT.

Now do you understand why they have it and keep it? It is the same freaking code base, just compiled for ARM. So as long as Microsoft has need to offer an ARM version of Windows it will exist, even if they stop producing the RT tablets.

(WP8 uses ARM, new Servers will start using ARM, etc. - so it will live on for a long time.)

StandingInAlley said,

Thanks to RT which Ms refuses to kill

It's not that it needs to die. It needs to mate with Windows Phone 8.1.

If the desktop is accessible on the Mini, it will fail.